Americans have received direct payouts from stimulus checks thrice, the most recent being $1,400 checks in March. Those checks, however, were one-time payments. The American Rescue Plan has undergone three adjustments that will assist you in paying particular recurring debts.
Fourth Stimulus Check: Internet Assistance
According to Fox Baltimore, many individuals are unaware that the stimulus package has a provision that provides a $50 reduction on broadband internet bills. This initiative will end only if the government declares the COVID-19 epidemic to be finished or if the program runs out of money. To find out how much money was remained in the program, we contacted the Federal Communications Commission. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program began with a $3.1 billion budget. The program has $2.9 billion left as of July 30, 2021.
Maryland has 62,176 homes participating in the program. The software will also assist you in obtaining an internet-connected gadget. Who qualifies is as follows:
- If your income is at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty level;
- You have free or reduced-price school lunch or school breakfast benefits;
- You have a Pell Grant from the federal government;
- You have been unemployed and financially bleeding since February 29, 2020;
- Your typical household overall revenue was $99,000 or less for single taxpayers and $198,000 for joint filers last year; or; or
- You fulfill the eligibility requirements for a current low-income or COVID-19 program from a participating provider.
Other ‘Secret’ Stimulus Check Programs
According to The Sun, Renters and homeowners who can demonstrate financial hardship due to the pandemic may be eligible for federal Homeowners Assistance Fund aid. To be eligible, you must earn less than 80% of the area’s median income.
The US Department of Treasury’s webpage has information on deadlines based on where you reside and applications for the stimulus. A grant program also gives a $600 one-time payment to agricultural and food employees. State agencies, non-profits, and tribal governments funded this program. Workers must apply for these incentives via the grants.gov website.
Officials Warn of Stimulus Check Scams
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the Secret Service and Visa claim they’ve noticed an increase in sophisticated phone scams in which fraudsters spoof victims’ banks to get vital security information and then empty their accounts. They’re urging Americans to be even more careful than normal when disclosing sensitive information, even if they believe they’re speaking with a trustworthy person.
Above all, they warn victims that no bank or government agency would ever phone them and ask for personal information, indicating that such inquiries are a likely indicator of a scam.
The con’s first gambit—using a caller ID that looks to originate from the target’s bank—people can out in several ways. The fraudsters will then say they need to validate the victim’s identification, acting as bank employees, to speed up the transfer of relief payments or prevent fraud. However, the information they need is essentially to assist them in diverting cash or gaining access to your bank account. Because fraudsters have access to vast amounts of information on their victims, the scam, a kind of “voice phishing,” is extremely pernicious.
Lori Hodges, Visa’s vice president of risk in North America, said thieves will empty a person’s account as quickly as possible. This might be as simple as withdrawing cash from an ATM using a forged debit card or directly accessing your bank account and sending monies out. Fortunately, there is a straightforward approach to prevent being a victim.
How to Avoid Scam
According to Fortune, Hodges advised customers not to hand out personal information to incoming callers. If a person suspects that the call is dubious, they should hang up and contact the bank immediately. When you phone a bank, they may ask you to authenticate your identification in some manner. Still, they will not ask for security information, according to Hodges.
Any caller claiming to be from a government agency is also suspect. The government – including the Treasury and IRS – will not contact businesses to arrange a stimulus payout. There’s no use in answering these calls.
During the crisis, Attorney General William Barr has urged US law enforcement and federal prosecutors to concentrate their efforts on capturing coronavirus fraudsters. Edwards encourages anybody who has been a victim of a scam, no matter how minor, to report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud, a special division of the Department of Justice.